WWE: How Would Ryback Fare Against the Jobbers of Yesteryear?
Ryback is on a roll.
That is a fact.
Another fact is that he has yet to face any real challenge while carving out his path to the top.
Week in and week out, random and helpless opponents have been thrown his way, only to be decimated in a matter of minutes.
Recently he has worked his way up slightly, defeating superstars on the actual WWE roster including Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks, but he has still yet to square off against anyone who could be deemed a real threat to his ever growing list of wins.
But rather than dispute who is worthy of ending that streak, it would be interesting to take a step back in time to see how he might fare against some “legendary” enhancement talent of another time period in professional wrestling. A world when the WWE was known as the WWF, and beating enhancement talent, or “jobbers” was how you built up the legitimacy of your character.
Who would win the "dream matches?"
Yes, Ryback would. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that he would defeat just about anyone. However, it still might be interesting to see what might happen.
The man at the epicenter of one of the greatest jobber storylines in wrestling history, Horowitz defeated Chris “Skip” Candido in July of 1995, a victory hailed as the first of his career.
After a brief push which saw him record several victories over Skip, and another over Hakushi, whom he then entered into a partnership with, Horowitz left the company in 1997. He then signed with WCW in 1998, where he went back to being used as an enhancement talent.
Chances are Horowitz wouldn’t get too far beyond giving himself a trademark pat on the back before Ryback stormed across the ring and dropped him with a vicious clothesline. But seeing one of the premier enhancement talents in history step toe to toe with a proverbial monster would be compelling to say the least.
Yes, Gill had a decent amount of success beginning in 1998 as Gillberg, a knock-off of WCW’s Goldberg.
Yes, he was WWF Light-Heavyweight champion for 15 months.
But before all of that, he was mainly an enhancement talent during the early and mid 1990’s, racking up an impressive amount of losses. In fact, he was touted by Mankind as having a win/loss record that no other wrestler could match.
Gill was also a part of the J.O.B. Squad, a group started by Al Snow, pointing out his past as a top-level enhancement talent. Interestingly, Snow was one of the people that trained Ryback to become a professional wrestler.
Perhaps Gill would point out that he was a Goldberg clone before Ryback was. My guess is he would quickly attempt a spear, and would likely bounce right off, landing in a heap at Ryback’s feet. He would then be picked up, Shell Shocked, and pinned. And Ryback would still be left feeling hungry.
As the brother of the iconic Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and son of wrestling legend Angelo Poffo, Lanny never attained the level of notoriety that his family members did. After a run as “Leaping Lanny Poffo between 1985 and 1989, which saw him throw frisbees to to the crowd as part of his gimmick, Poffo was repackaged as The Genius.
As an occasional wrestler and manager of the Beverly Brothers, the Genius began each match with a poem, mainly used to incite the performer that he, or his charges were squaring off against.
A high-flyer before his time (and one of the first wrestlers to perform a moonsault), Poffo would likely recite a poem meant to anger Ryback, and would likely succeed. Even though as an enhancement talent Poffo would generally be able to get in some offense against his opponent, this match would likely be over incredibly quickly.
Iron Mike Sharpe
“Canada’s Greatest Athlete” made a name for himself as a preeminent enhancement talent in the WWF during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, where he gained notoriety due to his brash nature and ever present black brace on his right forearm.
Due to his loud grunting and yelling during his contests, Sharpe initially received a push during his time with the WWF, even facing then-world champion Bob Backlund in April of 1983. However, Sharpe’s career with the company never reached that level again, save for a run in early 1984 where he teamed Hulk Hogan, then a rising star in the company, during a tour of Japan.
Now retired, Sharpe continues to influence the business, training wrestlers including former WWE tag-team champion Charlie Haas and former WWE and ECW superstar Mike Bucci, better known to audiences as Simon Dean and Nova.
Truly, Sharpe may be the best among this list in terms of being able to go one on one with Ryback. His size, strength and the threat of whatever that black forearm brace held might have been enough to eek out a “W.” On the other hand, using a foreign object might have simply served to annoy the young superstar, leading to the eventual destruction of Sharpe, who would likely not go quietly. Literally.
The Brooklyn Brawler
Known to some as the king of all jobbers, and used primarily as enhancement talent for most of the 1980’s, Steve Lombardi actually had a brief push and was managed by legendary manager Bobby “the Brain” Heenan around 1989, before being relegated back to his original status until the mid-1990’s.
Lombardi has also been one of the men that portrays the character since Matt Borne left the company in 1993. He recently played the character in early July in a losing effort to Heath Slater on Monday Night Raw.
In his head, the Brawler can beat Ryback. Pretty much no one else would believe that. In typical fashion, the match would be mere minutes long, and end with Ryback standing over the Brawler. However, stranger things have happened, and let us not forget that the Brawler does hold a pinfall win over then-World Champion Triple H. Granted it was in a non-title handicap match, but it is still in the record books.